When it comes to buying a toy, it’s a lot more complex than it once was. There’s more choice than ever before, but finding the right toy for you can be much harder as a result. How do you choose something that’s right for you? Having tested over 1,000 toys (and counting), Cliterati presents its guide to finding the one:
1) Consider the materials. While silicone is increasingly being used by companies, there are still all too many toys out there made from harmful pthalates, which have been linked to cancers and reproductive disorders. ‘Jelly’ is often a warning sign – check it’s pthalate free and if in doubt, don’t. Other materials you may want to consider are metal, glass (specially tempered to ensure it doesn’t break) and wood, all of which offer their own charms. Metal and glass can be used for temperature play while wood is warmer to the touch, and a more eco-friendly option too. For more info on different materials, check out Ann Summers’ guide.
2) Consider the price. While many of the designer toys are well worth the price tag due to quality and the amount of time they’ll last, if you’re new to toys, start with cheaper options while you find what works for you to avoid expensive mistakes. Internal or external? While clit stimulation is key for many, if you’re after G-spot stimulation, you may want to choose a toy with a curved tip. Vibrating or non-vibrating? Not everyone likes vibrations (though it can simply be a case of getting used to the sensation – and vibrations can vary from mild to wild). Phallic or non phallic? Toys are available in everything from duck-shaped to accurately modelled on a porn star’s member so the choice is yours. You may also want to…
3) Consider discretion. If you still live at home with your folks or have nosy flatmates, a non-phallic toy may be the preferable option. Whether it’s a lipstick vibe that you carry in your handbag or a rocket-ship shaped toy that you pretend is a toy of an altogether more innocent kind (yes, they really exist) there’s no need for your sex toy to be shaped ‘realistically’ (unless that’s all that gets you off, of course)
4) Consider volume. Often overlooked, toys are not all created equal when it comes to noise output. While it’s generally the case that more powerful toys are louder, there are numerous badly designed toys at the bottom end of the market that are far noisier than their power merits. It’s a good idea to check the reviews before buying as this is a particularly common complaint and will generally be flagged if it’s an issue. Either that, or muffle the sound under a super-thick duvet.
5) Consider the uses. Some toys are easier to use with a partner than others, such as the We-Vibe, which was designed for use during penetrative sex. If you’re both new to toys, you may also want to consider the intimidation factor too . A lover may feel threatened if you opt for a huge toy (or indeed, a ‘perfectly proportioned’ Real Doll) Of course, some people may find it a turn on too, and your partner choice shouldn’t dictate what you use for solo pleasure, but if you’re planning on using a toy with your partner, it’s only polite to consider their feelings.
Similarly, some toys are particularly suited to use in certain orifices. While it may be tempting, never use a toy anally that hasn’t been designed for the purpose (with a flared base or string for removal) And if you do have a toy that you use in multiple orifices (your own or other people’s) make sure you condom it up every time.
Toys aren’t for everyone. However, they can make orgasm easier for many people, as well as enhancing the opportunities for solo play. Just like partners, it can sometimes simply be about finding your perfect match.